Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Movies

My favorite podcast, The Geek Savants recently did a show about guilty pleasure movies (I.E. bad movies that you love and will watch every time you run across them).  It was a great episode and really got me to thinking about some of my favorites.  That said, here’s my list!

Guilty Pleasure Movies - MegaForce (1982)

Honorable Mentions

Legally Blonde (2001) – Reese Witherspoon plays Elle Woods, a stuck up blond girl from out California that follows her boyfriend to Harvard in an effort to get on his good side.  It’s a complete chick flick that I’ll watch ever time cause it’s funny as hell and Reese looks amazing in it.  Also stars Luke Wilson and Selma Blair.

Bad Medicine (1985) – Jeff Marx (Steve Guttenberg) comes from a family of doctors so naturally he is to follow in those footsteps.  Unfortunately he’s a terrible student and is unable to get into any schools… except for a little crappy one south of the border.  Also stars Alan Arkin, Julie Hagerty and Julie Kavner.

Necessary Roughness (1991) – the fact that this film stars Scott Bakula and Sinbad should tell you all you need to know.  The Texas State University Fightin’ Armadillos have to make it through the season with a team of players that have been thrown together by circumstances.  Kathy Ireland, Rob Schneider and a tear-jerking final scene… check it out.

What Women Want (2000) – Mel Gibson receives the ability to hear women’s thoughts.  Helen Hunt plays a competing co-worker, Alan Alda plays their boss and Marisa Tomei plays one of Gibson’s conquests… SMOKIN!

Summer School (1987) – Mark Harmon plays a school teacher (Freddy Shoop) that is forced to teach summer school to a group of pathetic teens.  Other notables are Courtney Thorne-Smith as one of Shoop’s students and a pre-binge Kirstie Alley as another teacher.

Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Movies

#10 – The Pirate Movie (1982)
Loosely based on The Pirates of Penzance this is a musical starring Christopher Atkins and Kristy McNichol.  Atkins plays Frederic who is contracted to The Pirate King until his 21st birthday… unfortunately he was born on a leap day so he’s got a LONG time to go.  The story centers around Frederic’s quest to gain his freedom and McNichol’s character Mabel.  This film won 3 Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Musical Score, Worst Director, Worst “Original” Song) and was nominated for 6 more including Worst Picture.

#9 – Rhinestone (1984)
Country singer, Jake Farris (Dolly Parton) makes a bet with her manager (Freddie Ugo played by Ron Leibman) that she can make anyone a country singer in two weeks.  Freddie chooses none other than Nick Martinelli (Sylvester Stallone).  Jake takes Nick back home for a couple of weeks to give him a crash course in country living, singing, walking & talking.  Naturally there’s a love story thrown in but if you can get past that this is pure brilliance.

One of Nick’s “original songs”:

“Budweiser you created a monster / and they call him Drinkenstein / And the tavern down the street is the labba-tor-eye-ee / where he makes the transformation all the time / And a stein of Dr. Buuuud is a pint of monster blood / and it does effect me different every time / Budweiser you created a monster / and they call me Drinkenstein / And they call me Drinkenstein / I’m Drinkenstein! / I’m Drinkenstein!”

#8 – Jason X (2001)
Jason Voorhees (yes, that Jason reprized here by Kane Hodder) has been captured and cryogenically frozen.  In the year 2455 he is re-animated aboard a spaceship because Earth as we know it has become inhabitable.  As for the rest of the plot here goes: people try to kill Jason and Jason kills people.  There are a couple of really inventive kills here and the appearance of Uber Jason raises the bar on this 10th entry in the Friday The 13th series.  Take a look at the review of Jason X I did for here.

#7 – 9 to 5 (1980)
I can’t believe it happened but I’ve got two Dolly Parton films in my top ten… not sure what that says about me.  Parton, Lily Tomlin & Jane Fonda kidnap their boss (Dabney Coleman) after they learn of his plot to exploit their company.  They need to keep him captive for over a month and come up with some inventive ways to keep him from escaping.

#6 – Big Trouble In Little China (1986)
Trucker Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) and his friend Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) head to the airport to pick up the love of Wang’s life who is subsequently kidnapped.  To rescue her they must head into the underworld of Chinatown, battle kung-fu masters and the 2,000-year-old Lo Pan.   Throw in a street gang, the “Three Storms”, a pre-Sex And The City Kim Cattrall, and a crazy tour bus-driving sorcerer and you’ve got a recipe for pure geekdom.

#5 – Starship Troopers (1997)
Think of this as a war movie meets 90210.  The cast is too “pretty” for their own good but they turn out a great little movie that is pure Paul Verhoeven.  Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) joins the military to follow his girlfriend (Denise Richards).  Earth is then attacked by the bug-infested planet of Klendathu and Johnny’s home is wiped out.   The rest of the flick is about how the humans battle the bugs.  Verhoeven weaves in anti-war theme sentiment, a fascist state and a intense fear of the unknown.  The rest of the “pretty” cast includes Dina Meyer, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris & Patrick Muldoon.  Michael Ironside is thrown in there for a nice dose of “bad ass”.

#4 – The Beastmaster (1982)
Dar (Marc Singer) is son of a king stolen at birth from his parents by the evil Maax (Rip Torn).  Dar is saved by a local villager and is taught how to fight and get this… communicate with animals!  Tanya Roberts is thrown in for a love interest and eye candy that’s completely unnecessary but for what it is the role isn’t all that terrible.  The rest of the story is pretty straight forward as Dar goes across the world looking for Maax.  There’s some pretty great fantasy sequences in here and the special effects aren’t all that bad for a movie that was made in the early 80’s.  This one spawned a sequel (which shouldn’t be on any top 10 list) and a television show but neither come close to this original.

#3 – The Last Dragon (1985)
If you caught this one half way through you might think you’re watching Enter The Dragon — think again!  While the references and homage is obvious, this movie’s greatness really does stand on its own merits.  Teenage martial arts student Leroy Green dreams of becoming a great martial artist like his idol Bruce Lee.  Leroy goes on a quest to become a “master” and achieve  “The Glow”.   Along the way Leroy must confront the evil Sho’nuff, the Shogun of Harlem.  Laura Charles played by Vanity acts as the love interest for the completely socially awkward Leroy.  There have been rumors of a remake of this film starring Samuel L. Jackson as Sho’nuff.  One word… wow.

#2 – Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)
The third movie from 1985 in my list here, this movie is one for the ages.  Remo Williams (played by Fred Ward) is recruited to be a secret agent when his death is faked essentially wiping him off the face of the Earth.  This movie was based on a long running series of books call The Destroyer and you know the the movie studio had high hopes for the feature film when they gave it the “Adventure Begins” tag line.  Unfortunately there was never another Remo adventure.

Remo’s mentor Chiun is played by Joel Grey and he’s absolutely awesome.  He’s a soap opera loving, ass kicking, racist, sexist pig who dodges bullets, runs on water (no shit) and completely puts Remo in his place.  There’s a little father/son thing that is developed as the movie goes along which while completely predictable is not too corny.

The plot of this one (like most of these films) is secondary to the awesomeness that is the characters.  In the interest of completeness I’ll outline it here:

  • Cop becomes part of secret agency
  • Cop becomes bad ass under tutelage of “master”
  • Bad ass goes against “the bad guy” and wins

Yep, that’s about it from a plot standpoint.  If that ain’t enough to get you hooked I don’t know what is.

#1 – Megaforce (1982)
Pure brilliance.  The story about a rapid deployment defense unit that is called into action whenever freedom is threatened.  How can you go wrong there!  Throw in Barry Bostwick in spandex, guns, explosions, flying motorcycles and  quite possibly the worst green screen in the history of, well, green screen and you’ve got one great movie.  Actually it’s complete crap but that’s the whole point of this list.  I remember seeing this one in the theater and playing Megaforce on my big wheel for weeks afterword.  Believe it or not, there are actually some name actors in here (or at least people you’d recognize).  The aforementioned Barry Bostwick, Michael Beck, Edward Mulhare & Henry Silva all make appearances and the beautiful Persis Khambatta is there for eye candy.  I’ll definitely never argue that this is a “good” film (nominated for 3 Razzies) but I’ll tell everyone in my demographic that you need to experience this at least once.  I’m a huge movie quote guy and there are two here that stand out for me:

Commander Ace Hunter says:

“I just wanted to say good-bye and remind you that the good guys always win, even in the eighties.”

One of my all time favorite movie quotes that I live my life by (no shit):

“It’s all on the wheel, it all comes around.”

Finally I’ll leave you with this.  If you’ve got a couple of minutes check out this video.  Pure genius.

5 thoughts on “Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Movies

    1. Hmm… Not a ton. My guilty pleasure flicks tend to not change much over time only because they tend to be these B grade type flicks and I don’t really see them being made much these days. I spose I’d put the Michael Bay Transformers flicks in that category, though I’m not sure I’d be the only one as those flick all grossed over a billion each!

Leave a Reply